Published on November 22, 2021 by Kristen Padilla  
Philip Sr. and Dolores Nation
Philip Sr. and Dolores Nation

Most people do not know the name Dolores Nation. But for those at NorthPark Baptist Church (formerly called Roebuck Park Baptist Church) in Trussville, Alabama, who received handwritten letters from her at significant moments in their lives, Dolores Nation is remembered as a person of compassion.

“Dolores Nation had a compassionate heart and was someone who was for the underdog, for the hurting and the mourning, for those celebrating the birth of a child,” said her son Philip Nation, vice president and publisher of Thomas Nelson Bibles of HarperCollins Publishers. “No matter what moment of change or crisis they were in, she just wanted the everyday person around her to be able to see the compassion of Christ.”

On Oct. 30, 2004, Dolores died from complications of her battle with lung cancer several years earlier. Now her son, who received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Samford University in 1991 and a Master of Divinity degree from Beeson Divinity School in 1994, says the time is right to honor her memory by establishing a student scholarship in her name.

The Dolores Emanuel Nation Endowed Scholarship will be used to provide financial support for Southern Baptist students preparing for ministry to attend Beeson Divinity School. Nation hopes that by naming this scholarship for his mother, future recipients of the scholarship will always keep in mind the person in the pew to whom they will be ministering.

“Theology is never an ethereal idea you're just handing to people,” Nation said. “The people to whom you are handing the big ideas of Scripture—the massive idea of the glory of God and the mission of God in the world—just had their first baby and they're exhausted. You're ministering to single parents. You're ministering to people that just lost a loved one.” 

Nation said Beeson set him on a course that saved his ministry before it ever started by combining scholarship with spiritual formation.

“What I inherited as a trust from Beeson, I want to make sure gets passed on to another generation of students, so that as they come here to learn about the glory of God, that they do so, understanding that they are being prepared for the mission of God in the world,” he said.

“Dolores Nation was a person of compassion who cared deeply for people and who later on in her life needed the compassion poured back out on herself during her own illnesses that she endured,” Nation said. “This scholarship represents her legacy of compassion.”

To give to the Dolores Emanuel Nation Endowed Scholarship or to start a scholarship in the name of a loved one, contact Gary Fenton at or visit

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.